From 2007 to 2012 annual handset sales grew from 1.1bn units to 1.7bn units. This was, obviously enough, driven by an expansion in the number of ‘human’ mobile phone users from 2.1bn to 3.2bn (the number of total connections was much higher).
Almost all of the growth in subscribers and hence in handset volume growth came from the low end at low prices. So, one would have expected the average price of a phone to fall. It didn’t.
Understand what is happening with price, and you will start to understand the mobile market. More importantly, that is how you will know when phones are good-enough.
(For more on “good-enough,” the discussion about low-end-disruption in a piece I wrote about Apple and the Innovator’s Dilemma is a great place to start.)